30 for 30: Josh Neumann’s 30th Bday thoughts, ideas and ramblings

I turned 30 this week, and it has been a seriously awesome time! Robyn treated me like a King, my family came to visit, the #SFACrew members performances were off the charts, and I got to play with my friends and Max. I also apparently crossed the threshold from young man to old man and joined some exclusive 30+ club. So in honour of my 30trips around the sun I’ve put together a list of 30 random thoughts, awesome ideas and things I believe to be right.

1. When my dog, Max, and I go to the park or beach he gets ridiculously amped. Two blocks away he starts walking a little faster, stronger and with determination. By the time we get to the entrance he can barely contain himself. He sits at perfect attention as I take his leash off and then GONE! If I can be half as amped about anything as Max is about the park and beach I know I will be okay.
2. I need water. I want Cucumber margaritas and beer. I need leafy green vegetables. I want cookies. I need natural peanut butter. I want peanut butter cups. I need 7 hours of sleep. I want to think I can go with less. I need to improve daily. I want to lay on the couch and watch seinfeld reruns. I need wild salmon. I want wild salmon. Sometimes your needs and wants are the same, the trick is knowing how to recognize them.
3. I love kettlebells, I think everyone should own one. They last a lifetime, take up minimal space, and are very versatile.
4. And if I could pick two kettlebell exercises everyone should know they would be the turkish getup and the swing.
5. Weight loss is not the same as fat loss. You can get the numbers on the scale to go down by going to the bathroom, number 1 or 2!
6. Walking is one of the most underrated forms of physical activity.
7. You don’t need to lift weights to strength train. It can really help to teach you how to be strong, but many gymnast and martial artists never touch weights and they are some of the strongest people on the planet. Strength is the ability to exert force on an object. Any object.
8. Newton’s 3rd law of motion states that when one body exert a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to that of the first body. A human’s ability to create force comes from within; you decide how much force you put into an object. Get stronger by learning to create TENSION within your own body. Put STRENGTHFIRST!
9. There are 5 basic positions to perform movements from: floor (back, front, side), seated (on the ground – variety of static positions), quadruped (all 4 limbs touching the floor), kneeling (both knees or one), standing (parallel stance, split stance, one foot stance). These are the stages of motor development human babies go through.
10. Getting up and down from the floor allows individuals to practice transitioning through these 5 basic positions. The Turkish getup and pushup squat getup are two great exercises that can be used to improve movement and strength skills. NOTE: Learning a number of getup variations is critical for learning to safely fall, think about how much you got up and down off the ground as a child and how many times you fell without serious injury.
11. Sometimes when I see a person walking and texting at the same time I intentionally change my path to walk directly in the line of the oncoming texter. We could all spend less time attached to our mobile devices and more time paying attention to our surroundings. If you see me walking and texting please walk into me, maybe we can have friendly conversation!
12. Bacon. Nuff said.
13. About 10 years ago I read some excellent food advice from Mark Verstegen: “Eat a rainbow everyday” meaning eat a variety of colourful vegetables and fruits everyday and when choosing protein remember “the less legs the better.”
14. Alwyn Cosgrove talks about the pendulum swinging too far in one direction and then overtime it slowly swings back to the middle. There have been 3 trends in the fitness industry lately that are starting to swing back to the middle: corrective exercise, barefoot running, and paleo/gluten free diets.
15. But seriously your feet are important, they are your connection to the earth below you, are home to 25% of the bones in your body, and incredibly sensitive to touch. Spend more time barefoot.
16. I’ve heard that “Sitting is the new smoking.” Humans in the Western world are spending more time sitting than in the past, which means they are spending more time being inactive which is leading to all sorts of health problems. Office chairs, couches and car seats being the biggest culprits. Spend less of your day sitting in these spots and you will notice changes in your health.
17. When did fitness get put before motor learning?
18. Skill development is best achieved with a continuous cycle of practice and play. Practice is rehearsing a behaviour over and over with the intention of mastering it or improving it. Play is dynamic and chaotic and provides opportunity for creativity. By practicing you will improve your play experiences and by playing you will provide new content for practicing… the cycle goes on and on!
19. 10 sets of 3 vs 3 sets of 10. They both total 30reps, but the quality of the reps is likely to be much different. It is most likely that when performing 10 sets of 3 you will get 30 reps that are nearly identical, and in 3 sets of 10 you will likely get 10 excellent reps, 10 mediocre reps and 10 poor reps. When it comes to motor learning this is the rep scheme that will allow you to learn a movement the best.
20. Movement is task oriented. If I were to ask 10 random people to pick up a kettlebell off the ground and place it over their head I am sure I would see a number of different methods, each one depending on the individual’s abilities and experiences. When coaching movement it is best to assign goldilocks tasks, not too hard, not too easy, just right. Here are 10 different ways to move a kettlebell from the ground to overhead: Turkish Getup, cheat clean to press, cheat clean to push press, clean and press, clean and push press, clean to bent press, clean to jerk press, snatch, EKG Turkish Getup, and slap catch to two handed press.
21. Author of the best selling book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines flow with the following characteristics: a task we have a chance of completing, must be able to concentrate on what we are doing, task has clear goals, task provides immediate feedback, act with deep but effortless involvement that removes the awareness of worries and frustrations of everyday life, a sense of control over your actions, concern for the self disappears but the self becomes stronger once the task is complete, and sense of time is distorted. Dr. Stuart Brown defines Play as: apparently purposless, voluntary, inherent attraction, freedom from time, diminished consciousness of self, improvisational opportunities, and continuation desire. These two world renowned psychologist have given two strikingly similar definitions to two different terms. Find an activity that gets you in a flow state and then go play with it… they are pretty much the same thing.
22. My friend Ben Newman calls these 5 actions the Pilars of Health: Breathing, Eating, Drinking, Moving, and Sleeping. These could also be called our primal needs. Add in love, relationships and shelter to complete the list of the basic survival needs of human beings.
23. Are you belly breathing? Put your right hand on your chest and your left hand on your belly button and take 5 breathes. Which hand moves first when you breathe in? If it is your right hand you are chest breathing, if it is your left hand you are belly breathing. Simple fix get the left hand to move first!
24. Laughter is the best medicine, have you ever had a bad time laughing?
25. Hands on treatment is one of the best forms of recovery. Go see an RMT, physio or chiro at least once a month for bodily maintenance.
26. The joint by joint approach is a great way to understand the roles of joints in the human body and provides a great self assessment tool. Joints have two roles; being mobile and being stable. Each joint has a primary role. Mobile joints are: toes, ankles, hips, tspine, and shoulders. Stable joints are: arch of foot, knees, lumbar spine, and scapula.
27. The 3 areas of the core you need to control are the hips, shoulders and spine… Learn to do that and you will have a strong core
28. Journaling is one the best ways to induce change in your life. Record your food for a few weeks and you will see a change in your diet. Record your training sessions for a few weeks and you will see a change in your workouts. Do both and you will see a change in your body!
29. I love sports, especially invasive team games. These games include: lacrosse, hockey, rugby, football, soccer and basketball. Understanding the basic decision making skills of invasive team games will allow you to play any invasive team game.
30. I don’t understand why people don’t like the FMS; it is simply a baseline diagnostic for movement skills based on the stages of motor development. It is a standardized test that evaluates squatting, lunging, stepping on one foot, weight shifting, pushups, and shoulder and hip mobility. You don’t need to use the specific corrective exercises developed by Gray Cook and his team to correct any major flaws the screen shows, you can use any methods you like including deleting certain activities to see if the flaws get cleaned up.

Thanks to my fiancé, family, friends, teammates, and #SFACrew members for being so fantastic, 1LOVE!
Josh Neumann, BHK, RKC, SFG, FMS
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